Malpas mother warns people to be vigilant after daughter bitten by snake

Published date: 13 July 2017 |
Published by: Barrie White
Read more articles by Barrie White


A MOTHER whose daughter was taken to hospital after being bitten by a snake is urging people to be extra vigilant while in the Meres and Mosses in Whixall.

Marie Lumb, from Malpas, was walking with her husband and their seven children on July 2, near the old Furber Scrapyard when their eldest daughter Hazel began screaming further ahead.

She initially thought Hazel, 17, had been stung by a wasp but soon realised it was much worse when she saw two fang marks – most likely from an adder – on her daughter’s ankle.

It led to her needing multiple doses of anti-venom at the Countess of Chester hospital.

Marie said there was plenty of advice for what to do if a dog is bitten by a snake, but nothing for humans – and hopes her daughter’s injuries will spark a change at the Natural England-owned land.

“I just want to warn people – Hazel is 17 but we had our young children with us,” said Marie.

“She never saw the snake before or after the bite and she wasn’t even in the long grass.

“I would tell people to keep dogs on a lead and to wear protective footwear if you’re going for a run along there.

“I would go back to the Mosses, as it’s a beautiful place, but I just want people to be aware adders are coming to the edge of the path and of the woodlands.

“I’ve asked the nature reserve to put up signs about to do.

“I saw there were signs to keep dogs on a lead as there were adders in the area.

“I heard Hazel scream. I wasn’t too concerned but as I went up to her and she pulled her sock down, I could see the fang marks and the tracks they made when they dragged down.

“She was in a lot of pain. The warning signs at the Mosses only recommended what to do for dogs, not humans, so I have asked to them to put signs for humans.”

Hazel was taken to hospital and while initially chatty, soon became ill. She was taken into the resuscitation area of the Countess while staff located anti-venom.

Marie added: “Hazel started being sick about an hour after the bite and she was taken straight to resuscitation. It took them about 40 minutes to find the anti-venom.

“They sent for some from Liverpool but when it arrived they had found their own. However, it turned out Hazel needed four doses of it. It affected her heart rate and blood pressure.

“She was in resus for four or five hours – not unconscious but delirious.”

Peter Bowyer, senior reserve manager for the Fenns, Whixall & Bettisfield Mosses NNR, said adder bites were rare, with the last known one in 1990, and there are on-site noticeboards and leaflets.

He said: “We are very sorry to hear one of our visitors was bitten by an adder.

“The reserve is well known for its adders, and while they are generally shy and non-aggressive, we always advise visitors should wear stout boots or wellingtons all year round and keep dogs on a lead.”

  • See full story in the Whitchurch Herald

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